Law & Order (1990) s13e10 Episode Script

Mother's Day

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
We don't serve quiche, young miss.
I hate quiche.
Do you have any coffee? Yes.
I'll even charge you $3.
75 if it'll make you feel more at home.
I appreciate that, but no special treatment required, or foam.
Just lots of sugar.
Black's fine.
What language is that? Advanced Chemistry, but it might as well be Greek.
Yeah, my boy took that.
Now he's, uh, washing dishes.
(CELL PHONE RINGS) I'm already here.
The question is, where are you? Okay.
Stood you up, huh? How much? Oh, coffee's free.
Conversation's a buck.
Anybody need a refill? WOMAN: Hmm, yes, please.
(TIRES SQUEALING) (WOMAN SCREAMS) (COLLISION) (CAR SPEEDING AWAY) You see here, how this starts out dark and gets lighter? That's made by a tire spinning under acceleration.
So you're saying some dude was just waiting for her to hit his crosshairs? Ready, aim, fire.
Detectives, got a witness over there.
Cabbie stopped at a red light, he saw the whole thing.
The girl came out of that diner over there.
You want to take the diner? Yeah, I could use a cup of coffee.
So? She seemed like a nice kid.
You knew her? No.
She left 2 bucks on a dollar cup of coffee, which she didn't even touch.
Doesn't say much for your coffee.
Well, she was supposed to meet somebody.
Did you get an idea who? No, but I overheard her on her cell phone.
I couldn't catch a name.
Okay, thanks.
MIGDAL: My guess, back's broken, skull's crushed.
She was definitely DOA.
She doesn't look more than 18.
Emily Milius, 17 next month.
This might have been her cell.
Well, I guess star-69's out of the question.
You can still order LUDS.
Gee, we should have gone to medical school.
Anyway, our guy was driving a Saturn.
Green, maybe blue.
Emily went to Rockingham Day School.
It's a private girls' school down on Park Avenue.
What the hell was she doing all the way up here? You mean other than being a crash dummy? (WOMAN GASPS) No! Mrs.
Milius? Can I get you some water? Maybe if you sat down over here Why did this happen? How did this happen? Oh, my husband is gonna die.
Can you think of any reason why your daughter was up in Washington Heights last night? Washington Heights? No.
She was with Blair.
She called me from there.
Gramercy Park.
Was it a drunk? We're not sure yet.
Oh, this is not good.
This is not good at all.
When Ronald comes home tonight Oh, God, what a mess! Oh, Mrs.
Milius, we're gonna get somebody to take you home, okay? (SOBBING) Yeah.
ALSTON: I wonder, should we close the school? That would be up to you.
The City does provide grief counselors.
Well, naturally, we'll take care of that ourselves.
How can I help? We were wondering if Emily had a friend named Blair.
Blair Silverman.
Yes, they were very close.
Why do you ask? I thought this was a hit and run.
Well, we have to cover all the bases.
ALSTON: Surely, you don't think this was done on purpose.
We don't know yet.
Well, I do.
Rockingham is one of the finest schools in the city.
And Emily wasn't just popular, she was gifted, generous.
No offense, ma'am, but I don't think she was uptown handing out turkeys.
I know what you're insinuating.
Emily was the captain of our lacrosse team.
Her biggest problem was deciding between Yale and Harvard.
There is no way she was on drugs.
ED: Of course not.
Her friend, Blair Silverman? We were wondering if we could talk to her.
Of course.
Emily's mom said you two were pretty tight.
Like sisters.
Caroline, I mean, Mrs.
Milius, was my second mom.
So you and Emily were out together last night? I've been grounded for the past six weeks for staying out all night at a rave.
Mom number one didn't like it.
ED: Ecstasy, huh? What's going on? Are you two narcs? We're just wondering why Emily would tell her mom she was with you in Gramercy Park when she was up on 187th street.
Look, we did E maybe twice.
It's not like we're druggies or anything.
It's actually perfectly age-appropriate.
Ask any shrink.
Anyway, if Emily wanted to score, there were other ways.
BRISCOE: For instance? Maddi Donlou.
You know, one of our tokens.
Poor people.
She lives uptown someplace.
I really liked Emily, respected her.
We were friends, I mean It's just that she wasn't doing so well in Advanced Chemistry.
She asked me to help.
It's a long way to go for some lab notes.
I'm not buying it.
If you didn't want your dad to know that you're about to fail, you would.
Her father's some kind of bigwig at a pharmaceutical company.
She was supposed to walk in his shoes.
What about boyfriends? Was she seeing anybody? Todd Block.
He's at Stanford.
Stanford? That must've made her dad smile.
She wished.
Milius wouldn't even let Emily see Todd over Thanksgiving.
I really I have to go.
ED: Okay, thank you.
Emily was smart, rich, pretty.
Getting dumped by a girl like that would sure piss me off.
Well, let's go see the mom, see if she's in a more talkative mood.
In other words, you have nothing.
It's a drunk driver, Ronald.
It's not like they're gonna find fingerprints.
Your wife has a point, sir.
MILIUS: Do we actually know it was a drunk driver? Okay, hit and run, what's the difference? There's a difference! I'm sorry.
This whole thing, you can't imagine.
BRISCOE: Actually, I can.
You don't know who to be mad at, do you? Uh, if you don't mind, we'd like to ask you some questions about Emily's boyfriend.
She doesn't have one.
What does that have to do with anything? You don't think this was an accident? There is some evidence that it might not be.
Oh, my God.
ED: Somebody named Todd? No.
There's no way Todd would hurt her.
Milius, we heard that you didn't care for him.
She was only 17.
What was he doing with her? I ain't saying he killed her, but there was something off about that guy.
Off, how? It was like he wanted it to be a drunk driver.
You checked the boyfriend out? (CELL PHONE RINGS) He hasn't been on a plane since the semester started.
I think you're way off base.
Where? Half an hour.
Hey, maybe not that far off base.
Ronald Milius wants to talk with us privately.
MILIUS: It's just that Caroline would never understand.
I'm not sure we do, either.
I'm the CFO of a Fortune I personally audited the books of my company, Frasier & Frasier Pharmaceuticals.
Which is just two baby steps away from bankruptcy.
Because of you? No.
The CEO and the rest of his foursome, they're being investigated for illegally pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars.
And you have evidence incriminating them? The Feds promised me if I cooperated, my name would be kept out of it.
Do you think they killed Emily to shut you up? You're the ones that said it wasn't an accident.
Who else would want to hurt her? I shouldn't even be talking to you.
Milius, we're not done.
You'd think if they wanted to keep him quiet, he'd be the one facing the front end of a Saturn.
It's too obvious.
He still has his wife to worry about.
Okay, good.
Do me a favor, send that over to Forensics.
All right, thanks.
Parking Violations, they just found an abandoned green Saturn.
Let me guess, there's a dent in the front end.
ED: Tell me something good, Borak.
My kid got a B+ in Spanish.
Oh, you mean about the car.
That's an A.
Fibers from the grill matched fibers from your girl's sweater.
Prints? More than you can shake a stick at.
ED: Hey, life is good.
Life is great.
Car's registered to a Diane Payton, 237 East 13th Street.
PAYTON: Emily Milius? No, I don't think I know her.
And you weren't up in Washington Heights last night? I work in a greeting card store in the Village.
That'd be over an hour on the subway during rush hour.
Not if you had a car.
Two hours, then.
Well, your car's a green Saturn, isn't it, Mrs.
Payton? Oh, my God.
There's been an accident? Please don't tell me Danny was hurt.
Danny? My son.
He's had the car the last couple of days.
Oh, my God.
He's hurt.
No, no.
We think he may have witnessed a hit and run.
Uh, if you could give us his address, we'd like to talk to him.
Oh, okay.
Danny Payton, police.
Do it.
If you don't mind.
Who is this guy, Frosty the Snowman? Ed! He's Frosty, all right.
ED: All the windows in this guy's apartment were wide open.
So he liked fresh air.
That, or we're dealing with somebody with experience in the Forensic arts.
The M.
Couldn't use body temp to approximate the time of death.
Murder weapon? We found a carving knife in the dish rack.
Well, at least our bad guy's tidy.
Danny Payton's prints were all over that car.
You're thinking Danny was hired to hit Emily Milius? And whoever hired him, decided he was no longer useful to Frasier & Frasier Pharmaceuticals.
Is there proof of any of this? Danny didn't have a record.
Yeah, we'd check his LUDS, but he didn't have a phone, either.
He certainly doesn't sound like someone I'd hire for a hit.
Talk to people who knew him.
His super said he never got any visitors.
Well, maybe his mother kept tabs on his social schedule.
After the morgue, I didn't know what to do, so I went to work.
Lawson sent me home.
Who would We thought if you could tell us the names of some of his friends I don't know.
I mean, Danny, he was, kind of, a loner.
This is my fault.
I didn't like to pry.
We had breakfast yesterday before work.
Since Danny's dad left us When was that? MRS.
PAYTON: When Danny was 12.
Every week we've had at least one meal together.
If he was in trouble, I should have known.
He should have been able to talk to me.
I don't think it would have mattered.
I don't make much money, but if he owed someone ED: What makes you think that he was in debt? Twenty-one-years-old and still making minimum wage.
CHUCK: As far as I know, there's no law that says I have to employ crack addicts.
You're sure he was on the stuff? Man, crack, uppers, downers, what do I know? You know, he should have been smarter than to do that stuff in front of my place of business, here.
Hey, Cazzie, give me that.
I'll tell you something.
I thought the guy was gonna work out, too.
You know, he's kind of nice, polite, worked his butt off.
Then one day he's, like, whacked out of his skull.
He scared two of my customers out of here before they even got out of the car.
But when he was sober, did he ever mention any friends? No.
We never got that close, sir.
Cazzie Excuse me.
Cazzie, what is this? You got a habit to feed but you're busted.
All you have to do is run down this anonymous girl and you're back on cloud nine.
Maybe the M.
's got something by now.
Seven stab wounds, most likely made by this.
No defensive wounds.
Nothing under his nails.
Nobody just lies there and takes it.
Somebody sleeping would.
Or somebody stoned out of his mind.
No, not this guy.
Tox screen was negative.
I don't know.
This many stab wounds usually means a crime of passion.
Or somebody wanted it to look that way.
No, I don't think so.
These two are superficial.
What we call hesitation wounds.
Not only was your bad guy not a pro, he wasn't sure he wanted to do what he was about to do.
Well, he eventually made up his mind.
ED: Is this his? Yeah.
It's on its way up to Forensics.
This is a self-winding watch.
And it stopped at 5:00 p.
I doubt if he was swinging his arm up and down, being that he was dead.
That's right, but these watches run 18 hours, more or less, without movement, meaning that the time of death would have been 11:00 the night before.
Makes it pretty tough for him to be eating scrambled eggs with Mom yesterday.
We're following up on a few leads.
Who? I'm sorry.
I can't disclose that information right now.
I'm sure you understand.
You know what I understand? I understand grief.
You have to tell me.
Is this because of Ronald's company? Yes, I know all about it.
He told me.
We're just not sure yet, Mrs.
What's going on? Who is she? She killed my baby, didn't she? I thought you said Danny was just a witness.
Things may have changed.
He didn't even know that girl.
Why would he kill her? Why do people kill? Love.
I would've given him money.
No offense, but I think he was looking for a lot more than you had lying around.
ED: What we think happened, Mrs.
Payton, is that Danny was hired to kill Emily Milius and whoever hired him wanted to make sure that he didn't tell anybody about the deal.
That's crazy.
You don't know Danny.
But you did.
Better than anyone.
That's right, he told you everything at your weekly breakfasts.
That's right.
Only we happen to know you didn't have breakfast with Danny the morning after Emily was murdered.
Payton, if you lie to us, we can't help you.
Maybe I got my day wrong.
Yeah, and maybe I'll run for Pope.
You think I killed him? Five-to-ten, you know what did happen.
You had a key to his apartment.
I was his mother.
BRISCOE: And maybe that explains your prints on the towel rack right near the murder weapon.
What's going on here? Just having a little tête-à-tête with Mrs.
Payton here.
Is she accused of something? Not yet.
We don't treat people like this.
I'm sorry, Mrs.
Can I get you a cup of coffee? Detective Green, would you please escort Mrs.
Payton to Interview Room One? You'll be a lot more comfortable there.
Are you hungry, Mrs.
Payton? There's a deli around the corner.
I can get you a hot pastrami.
That's enough.
I really have no idea what he's talking about.
Of course.
Did she ask for a lawyer? Why would an innocent woman need one? Give me 30 minutes.
Again, I apologize for my detectives.
They're just doing their job.
Well, their job description doesn't include rude behavior.
I know how difficult this must be, Mrs.
I have kids.
How you get up in the morning after losing a child, I just don't know.
And the way it happened When my Ric was six years old, they thought he might have scoliosis.
That would mean spinal surgery, a year in a full body cast, sitting in waiting rooms, waiting for test results, I thought, "How am I going to get through this?" Is he okay? Knock on wood.
How old is he? Thirteen.
That's nice.
Boys at 13.
I remember.
I swear our mothers had it easier, what with the drugs today and violence in the schools.
No one ever said it was supposed to be easy.
No time off.
No vacations.
There's just got to be a point when it's their life and there's no place for the mother No.
They are always your life.
You're right.
You're only as happy as your unhappiest kid.
What can I say, you have great expectations.
You start out with that, slowly it turns into disappointment, and it's topped off with an unbearable dose of guilt.
(SIGHS) But what if I can't A mother shouldn't What? A mother shouldn't kill her baby.
(SOBBING) I gave Danny life, and I took it away! (SOBBING) Docket number 61459.
"People v.
Diane Payton.
"Murder in the Second Degree.
" Do I see defendant's counsel? No excuse for tardiness.
I apologize to the court, Your Honor.
Kay Hartley for the defense, Your Honor.
I'm sorry, Your Honor.
Casual day at Wittman, Worth.
I wasn't expecting a court appearance.
And your client pleads how, Ms.
Hartley? Not guilty.
Question of bail? Remand, Your Honor.
The defendant brutally murdered her own son.
As I was saying, she confessed to murdering her own child.
And for that she gets remanded without bail.
(GAVEL BANGS) Long time, Serena.
You don't remember? You sat three seats ahead of me in Contracts.
Of course, you were probably busy paying attention.
Wittman, Worth? You must've been paying attention to something.
What can I say? They make us do this pro bono stuff.
The choices we make, huh? I don't know.
Anti-trust litigation never got my socks rolling up and down.
So you do remember? I read the alumni rag.
So, can I buy you a cup of coffee? I can pay for my own, thank you.
Look up "snob" in your Webster and you'll see her picture.
Kay Hartley had one foot on Wall Street from the first day of school.
What's she doing here? It's Wittman, Worth pretending they have a heart, justifying their fees in case there's a Hell.
Maybe that's a good thing, considering we don't have anything even resembling a motive.
We don't need a motive, we have a confession.
Believe me, this will be a quickie.
I thought this was going to be me and you, Serena.
Jack McCoy, Kay Hartley.
McCoy is the Executive Assistant District Attorney.
Sorry to disappoint, Ms.
No, no, that's fine.
So, how does this work? Considering we have a signed confession, it appears you don't have any leverage.
I can offer murder two with a sentence recommendation.
In the corporate world, you know you have a good deal when both sides walk away unhappy.
Sure, I'm new to this criminal stuff, but I think you're both smiling just a bit too much.
Be that as it may, I can't go any lower.
Well, maybe you'll reconsider when the confession is tossed.
JACK: Excuse me? Mrs.
Payton doesn't remember anyone reading her her rights.
She wasn't being interrogated.
Be that as it may, one of our first year associates is drafting a motion as we speak.
So much for quick.
HARTLEY: The Miranda Court emphasized that in order for a confession to be admissible against a defendant, it must be voluntary.
I think you can skip the primer on coerced confessions, Counselor.
Of course, Your Honor, but when a lieutenant grills a suspect for nearly an hour Lieutenant Van Buren drank coffee with the defendant, and they discussed their children.
I'm sure she wasn't there for the cuisine, Mr.
There was a discrepancy in a timeline that she had given the police concerning a hit and run her son was involved in a few days earlier.
Payton was never a suspect.
The mere fact she was in a police station JUDGE: Is irrelevant.
What controls is whether the police knew or should have known that their actions would lead to a confession.
Read Rhode Island v.
Innis if you want back up on that, Ms.
If the police didn't consider Mrs.
Payton a suspect in the murder, they certainly couldn't have expected a confession.
But, Your Honor The confession is in.
Hey, how's this for timing? Right, just a coincidence.
Serena Look, you already had your chance at a deal.
I'm not here to negotiate.
I'm here to ask a friend for a favor.
Right, you lose your motion and suddenly we're friends? I'm sorry, Kay, but I think you're gonna have to slum it down on Centre Street for a few weeks.
I'm not slumming, Serena.
Look, growing up, Danny Payton was special.
Everybody loved him.
And then one day when he was A lot of voices.
Only nobody else could hear them.
Wait a minute.
Are you saying he was crazy? And he was violent, and he took it out on the person who was closest to him.
Especially after my uncle ran off.
Your uncle? Danny was my cousin.
So this pro bono? Is really a leave of absence.
Look, I know my aunt.
And I know how much she loved Danny.
And she wouldn't have She couldn't have unless he was hurting her.
If you're gonna try and make this a case for self-defense, Kay, I don't buy it.
He was asleep.
She stabbed him while he was sleeping.
Serena, Danny flipped out and ran over Emily Milius for no reason other than she was there.
Do you have any proof of this whatsoever? Well Kay, as your new best friend, if you don't have any proof, I would advise you to resign as counsel and make yourself a character witness.
It's a tiny favor, Serena.
Help me get a look at his medical records.
ARTHUR: She wants us to get the doctor-patient privilege waived? We're not supposed to make the defense's case for them, Serena.
Our job's to get a conviction.
I thought it had something to do with justice, Jack.
I've got photos of seven stab wounds that say that's exactly what this is.
I don't understand, Serena.
If Mrs.
Payton wants to assert self-defense, why doesn't she just waive her son's doctor-patient privilege? Maybe she's too proud.
Maybe she's ashamed.
Maybe she doesn't want the world to know that her son was beating on her.
That's a lot of maybes.
I don't see what the big deal is.
We get Mrs.
Payton removed as administratrix, we talk to Danny's doctor and we can find out for sure.
The only problem is that the new administrator would be the next of kin, who might very well wanna keep the Paytons' family secrets secret.
It's not a problem.
The next of kin is Hartley's mother.
When do we get to call on Uncle Bernie as the eyewitness? You know what, Jack? Self-defense is in the books for a reason.
If that woman doesn't deserve to be in jail, I don't wanna put her there.
Let me get this right, the defendant is the decedent's mother? HARTLEY: That's correct, Your Honor.
The statute is very clear on appointing administrators, Counselor.
It is also very clear that a person should not be able to profit from their crime.
Payton murdered her son.
As administratrix to his estate, she'd be entitled to a statutory fee.
Payton hasn't been convicted of anything, Your Honor.
She confessed to stabbing her son seven times.
HARTLEY: The confession was questionable at best.
Hartley's motion to exclude has already been denied.
Danny Payton was a murderer, Your Honor.
Doesn't my client get any credit for getting him off the street? You can't be serious, Counselor? Zealous representation, Your Honor.
This court is in favor of removing Diane Payton as the administratrix of the estate of Danny Payton and issuing new Letters of Administration in accordance with Surrogate's Court Procedure Act, Section 1001.
(GAVEL BANGS) I don't understand.
What does this mean? There's a chance Danny was abusing his mother.
So what? My daughter is dead.
Somebody has to go to jail.
Payton may not be legally responsible for what she did.
Responsible? If she were a better mother, Emily would be alive.
If she's not responsible, who is? Danny's doctor's name was Trask.
I'll have a waiver signed and delivered to him right away.
TRASK: Danny Payton was schizophrenic, but he was released from St.
Justin's as not being a threat to himself.
You see, with pharmaceuticals, he could lead a normal, productive life.
Meaning he wasn't a threat to anyone else? Correct.
You gotta understand, most schizophrenics are not violent at all.
Danny Payton ran somebody over and fled from the scene.
(SIGHS) Can you tell me about his relationship with his mother? I recall they were extraordinarily close.
So are you saying he wasn't abusive to her? No, what I'm saying is quite the opposite.
His mother was the only thing that kept him alive.
Look, I'll send over all the records if you want.
Feeling good, are we? Yeah, it really makes my day when a mother kills her son for no reason whatsoever.
Call Hallmark.
Maybe they'll print up a special card.
I thought that you'd be happy, Hartley loses her affirmative defense.
And pops up with another more ridiculous one.
Ah, Kay Hartley.
With friends like that Defense of third parties? You must be kidding me.
Danny already killed Emily Milius.
His mother killed him so he wouldn't hurt anybody else.
It's a legitimate affirmative defense.
If there was an imminent threat of Danny hurting someone.
As far as I know, there was no one in Danny Payton's apartment other than the woman who stabbed him seven times.
Look, I know that it's a long shot.
I'm just trying to win my case.
By using me? You needed privilege waived so you could get Danny's mental state into evidence.
Your aunt wouldn't waive it because she knew it wasn't self-defense.
I did what I could to get justice for my client in an imperfect system.
If you want to know why it's imperfect, Kay, look in the mirror next time you put on your Tiffany earrings.
Look, my aunt came home to find her car missing.
The next thing she knew, Danny was telling her he used it to kill someone he didn't even know.
What was she supposed to do? Calling the police would've been a very good start.
At least I work for my earrings.
That's right.
Not all of us have the luxury of playing at saving the world.
An acquittal of a confessed murderer and the powers that be at Wittman, Worth will have no choice but to put my name on the letterhead.
Surprise, surprise, Serena.
Well, it's a game, right? And the point of a game is to win.
I'll see you in chambers.
Judge McNeil actually bought Ms.
Hartley's argument? He called defense of third parties a question of fact for the jury.
The man goes to school for seven years, practices law for 15, sits on the bench for five, then passes the buck to three housewives, four salesmen, two plumbers, a couple of construction workers, and a dental hygienist.
I take full responsibility.
None of this would be admissible if I hadn't pulled that stunt in Surrogate's Court.
I seem to recall giving you the old "atta-girl.
" I didn't.
But you never knew Kay Hartley.
I'm beginning to think all of this was bogus from the get-go.
She never thought it was self-defense.
She only needed a way to let the jury know that Danny was mentally ill.
You seem to have less faith in our noble profession than I do.
The problem is now I have to go into court and argue that this woman belongs behind bars even though she killed her son only to prevent him from killing three housewives, four salesmen, two plumbers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera Hartley's gonna have to offer up some kind of proof.
She has proof enough.
Emily Milius.
I'll explain the whole thing to Judge McNeil.
And he'll give us the "Soft Touch of the Year" Award.
VAN BUREN: We talked about children.
How tough it is raising them.
Payton had it particularly tough since her husband left her.
And it would be particularly hard with a young boy with mental problems.
She never mentioned any kind of mental problems with regard to her son.
JACK: Maybe that's because he was on medication.
VAN BUREN: She never mentioned that, either.
Like I said, she never talked about mental problems, period.
But she did say that she killed him? Yes.
And she signed a confession to that effect.
JACK: Thank you, Lieutenant.
During that I said it was a conversation, Counselor.
During that 45-minute chat, did you ever once ask Mrs.
Payton if her son was mentally ill? As I just said Yes or no, Lieutenant? No.
Did you ask Mrs.
Payton if her son had ever threatened to kill anyone else? No.
HARTLEY: One more thing, Lieutenant.
Did Mrs.
Payton ever say she loved her son? Yes.
RODGERS: The lack of defensive wounds indicates that the victim was unaware that he was being attacked.
He was sleeping? Sleeping or unconscious.
So, in other words, this was like shooting fish in a barrel.
Withdrawn, Your Honor.
Out of those seven stab wounds, two were what you call hesitation wounds, is that correct? Yes.
So could you say that Mrs.
Payton struggled with her decision to stab her son? That's certainly one explanation.
About two months ago, Doctor, did you do an autopsy of a man named Ethan Richards? Objection.
Relevance will become clear shortly, Your Honor.
I'll let it in subject to connection.
Answer the question, Doctor.
Yes, I worked on the Richards case.
And what were your conclusions? There were shoe prints on the victim's torso, so we concluded he died of internal hemorrhaging due to kicking.
HARTLEY: Just to refresh your memory, Doctor, would this be the murder we're discussing? Yes.
Could you please read the highlighted portions? "Forensic scientists have confirmed "that the shoe was a size To your knowledge, was there ever an arrest made in this case? No.
Thank you.
That's all.
Danny Payton was schizophrenic.
He lost touch with reality.
He often saw and heard things that weren't there.
JACK: How did you treat him? In addition to daily counseling and group therapy, I also prescribed the anti-psychotic drug, Clozaril.
After eight weeks of treatment, Danny stopped hearing the voices and having the delusions.
In other words, Doctor, he was able to function in society? I wouldn't have signed his release if he wasn't.
Last year, did Danny's mother ask you to take him back into the hospital? Yes.
Why is that, Doctor Trask? Mrs.
Payton said that Danny was hearing voices telling him to kill people at random.
HARTLEY: And you didn't take that seriously? DR.
TRASK: Of course I did.
But then Mrs.
Payton told me that Danny had stopped taking his medication three months earlier.
HARTLEY: And what did you do? DR.
TRASK: I told her it was unacceptable.
Look, in a perfect world, I would have readmitted Danny.
But it is not a perfect world.
It is New York State and we don't have the funding, staff or beds available for someone who is perfectly able to function on medication.
Tell me, Doctor, when a patient is admitted to your hospital, what do you do with the personal effects he brings with him? They're recorded and stored.
I don't see the relevance, Your Honor.
I'm just connecting earlier testimony.
Doctor, do you recognize this? Yes.
It's the record of all of the items Danny had with him when he was admitted to St.
Could you focus your attention on item number 10, labeled footwear? What does it say? "A pair of size 12-and-a-half Frye work boots.
" HARTLEY: I have nothing further, Your Honor.
Looks like this guy's gonna clear up all of our open cases.
While his mother becomes a folk hero for pushing the off button on a killing machine.
She's a vigilante.
She was also a mother who killed the child she loved more than herself.
Well, so were Susan Smith and Andrea Yates.
And if I remember correctly, they were both convicted.
They weren't preventing otherwise inevitable murders.
Only the statute doesn't say "inevitable threat.
" It says "imminent threat.
" Well, pardon my French, but I don't think the jury's gonna give a damn either way.
Deal it down.
That means the next guy Before you go there, Serena, the only "sending a bad message" argument that I buy is the bad message we send when we lose a trial.
If you read the fine print, it also says that when the going gets tough, run, even when the law is on our side.
Do you really think we're gonna get jail time for this woman? Please.
If she was on the road to canonization, she wouldn't have gone along with Kay Hartley's games.
I haven't even cross-examined the defendant yet, Arthur.
Well, you got in this hole, I guess it's up to you if you want to keep digging.
So how much of that was personal? The letter of the law, Jack.
That's all.
HARTLEY: But you tried to get Danny help? Danny belonged in a hospital.
But Dr.
Trask just testified he'd be fine if he just took his pills.
Pills are supposed to help.
They gave him migraine headaches.
They made him like a zombie.
He said the only reason he even knew he was alive was because he vomited an hour after he took them.
How was he supposed to live like that? Still, that's a small price to pay I was his mother, not some prison guard.
I can't physically force him to take his medication! I can't look over him all the time! They say a mother's worst fear is the death of a child.
Let me tell you, it's a million times worse when he kills someone else's child.
Let's turn our attention to the night Danny died.
Could you please tell us what happened? Mrs.
Payton? That morning, Danny borrowed my car.
Taking long drives helped clear his head.
When he didn't return the car by 10:00, I went over to his apartment to see if anything was wrong.
He was sitting on the floor, banging his head against the wall.
He told me what he did to that girl.
I calmed him down, and helped him into bed.
And then (SOBS) I didn't know what else to do.
Stabbing Danny was your only option? He was sick.
That hospital wouldn't take him.
He killed at least two people.
I'm sure the prison system would have been glad to have him.
Is there a question? Withdrawn.
Yes or no, Mrs.
When you were stabbing Danny, were you thinking of Emily Milius? Were you thinking of the man Danny had kicked to death? Were you thinking of the next innocent person Danny was going to kill? You said that Danny was delusional, isn't that correct? Yes.
That he had hallucinations.
That he heard voices telling him to kill? Yes.
Then why, Mrs.
Payton, why in the world did you lend Danny the keys to your car? JUDGE: Re-direct, Ms.
Hartley? No, Your Honor.
Then we'll pick up tomorrow morning.
Kay told me that Danny stole her keys.
So either she lied to me, or Mrs.
Payton just lied on the stand.
Why would someone lie to appear more guilty? She wouldn't.
Conference room, 20 minutes.
So I misspoke.
What's the big deal? That's one possibility.
The other is that you intentionally lied to me.
What's going on? Your niece is a very smart lawyer, Mrs.
She knows that if you gave Danny the car, that you'd be legally responsible for the death of Emily Milius.
It's called reckless endangerment.
My guess is that she told you to lie on the stand, but you didn't, and I don't think you forgot.
Let's go.
Let me ask you this.
Did she tell you that we offered her a deal before we went to trial? I didn't think so.
She didn't tell you because she knew you'd accept.
My God, you killed your own son.
And I should rot in Hell for it.
You deserve to walk out of that courtroom.
Why, Kay? Because she's not guilty, or because you want a corner office? (SOBBING) Kay? You have to trust me, Aunt Diane.
Come on.
We'll see you in court.
Let's think about why we send a person to prison.
First and foremost, we don't want the son-of-a-bitch to do it again.
Payton killed her son because of who he was and what he did.
She's not going to do it again.
So there must be another reason to punish her.
Okay, how's this? We've got to rehabilitate her.
From what? From trying to save the lives of people she doesn't even know? Now, that doesn't sound right.
That should be a good thing and not a punishable offense.
Okay, I know what you're thinking.
This woman snubbed her nose at the laws of this state and a person just can't do that and get away with it scot-free.
It was the State that let her down, and maybe, just maybe, we owe her something in return.
I ask you, what act could possibly be more courageous than sacrificing your own son for the greater good? Should that really be a crime? Did Mrs.
Payton call the police? That would have been an act of courage.
But she didn't do it.
Did she tell her son's doctors that he had already killed innocent people? That would've been courageous.
But she didn't do that, either.
Yes, she's sympathetic.
I have a child myself, there but for the grace of God.
But consider this: Mrs.
Payton had an opportunity to tell you that she killed her son to save other people's lives.
And she didn't do it.
She had an opportunity to tell you that she acted to stop her disturbed son's suffering.
And she didn't tell you that, either.
Yes, hers is a tragic story.
But it's not a defense to murder.
JUDGE: Will the defendant please rise? Have you reached a verdict? FOREPERSON: We have, Your Honor.
On the sole count of the indictment, murder in the second degree, we find the defendant guilty.
JUDGE: Thank you.
You are hereby FOREPERSON: Excuse me, Your Honor, but we have a question.
I mean, do we have to send this defendant to jail? Fortunately, the Penal Law guarantees her jail time.
So Kay Hartley called to take me to lunch.
She probably wants to weasel a sentencing recommendation out of you.
Good night.
Good night.
JACK: Good night.
It seems the only person who wants Mrs.
Payton in prison is Mrs.
Well, we all do our emotional penance in our own way.
Including Kay.
She'll have to work that much longer to get her name on the door.
Yes, it is.

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